Richmond high street traffic ‘nightmare’ likened to central London

Richmond traders say traffic is a “nightmare” on their high street and the gridlock is becoming more like Central London.

Locals working on Hampton Hill High Street claimed the congestion makes deliveries late and drivers shoppers away.

A controversial scheme, preventing most cars from entering Burtons Road near the high street at certain times, was made permanent last week – in a bid to reduce rat-running traffic on quiet roads.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Hampton HillHampton Hill

But locals raised concerns at Richmond Council’s transport committee meeting on Tuesday, January 10 that the restrictions just pushed cars onto nearby roads.

Town centre manager Georgia Ballantine said there is “significantly” more traffic on the high street, with deliveries to businesses “delayed or sometimes not delivered at all”.

Tushar and Chandrika Patel run newsagents Taps News on the high street and live locally.

Mr Patel, 63, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the scheme had eased traffic on Burtons Road but “pushed it” elsewhere.

He said: “It’s fine for Burtons Road but it’s making issues with other roads now – it’s just transferring one problem to another area.”

He said traffic from nearby roads “tails onto the high street and you get a lot of congestion… at peak times”.

But, ultimately, Mr Patel said the “problem is there’s too many cars” and slammed the lack of parking.

Mr Patel added: “It’s just a stream of traffic all the time. This part of London… is becoming much bigger, it’s similar to central London almost in fact, it’s growing.

“These used to be suburbs years ago. For 36 years we’ve been here – it’s grown from a very quiet village to a major area, a busy area and it’s expanding.”

Ms Patel also called the traffic “a nightmare, it’s chock-a-block” and said: “We never have parking at all… we have to park our cars on the side roads”. 

She added that it would be “so handy” for Hampton Hill to have a Tube station.

Rafael Dascoli, 41, said traffic is a “nightmare” on the high street and there can be queues lasting an hour.

He said a former colleague at The Dog Store bought a bike “because he said it’s impossible” to park and would spend an hour “trying to get a parking space, just going around”.

He added: “We have the privilege that we are working with dogs and our customers are normally local, people have dogs in the area, but for example another business like Sainsbury’s… some people need to come with a car to do their shopping and then they realise that they have a very long queue and wait so they’re going to avoid it and probably go to another place because it’s not worth it to spend 10 minutes, 20 minutes in a traffic jam.”

Other workers welcomed the Burtons Road scheme. Simon Miller, 40, works at Robson’s Butcher and Deli and said: “It’s a bit like all the parking on the high street when they put the restrictions out the front there.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Simon MillerSimon Miller

“Alright, it’s a bit annoying – if anything I think that does the shops better because it’s limited, it stops people parking there all day.”

He added: “It does cause a bit of traffic in the evening but realistically you shouldn’t be driving down those people’s roads anyway.”

A council report on the scheme said it had “delivered on the objective to reduce displaced traffic flow” on unclassified residential roads.

The report said data had revealed increased traffic on nearby roads, but that other factors had contributed – including the closure of Bushy Park to through-traffic – and previous levels were “artificially low”.

The transport committee approved a commitment to delivering measures on other roads along with the scheme on January 10.

Richmond Council has been contacted for comment.

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